SBD/Issue 154/Sports Industrialists

Book Shelf: Biography Of Art Rooney Sr. Earns Very High Praise

In a special to the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, Allen Barra wrote ROB RUCK, MAGGIE PATTERSON and MICHAEL WEBER's book, "ROONEY: A SPORTING LIFE," is "one of the best books on football written so far this century," largely because late Steelers Owner ART ROONEY SR. "was the most interesting of owners." "Rooney" is "handsomely packaged, lavishly illustrated and assiduously researched" and is "more than a biography." Barra: "It's a virtual cutaway view of the growth of development of professional football and its relationship to its communities." Rooney's life "would have been a rich enough read if it had ended in 1969 before he hired a colorless but brilliant defensive coordinator from the Baltimore Colts named CHUCK NOLL." For Steelers fans, the "last 140-odd pages of 'Rooney' will seem like a rich dessert, covering the creation of perhaps the greatest dynasty in football history" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 4/21).

FIGHTING WORDS: In Baltimore, Kevin Richardson noted MMA fighter B.J. PENN has written his autobiography "WHY I FIGHT," and UFC President DANA WHITE "is not happy with this book." Penn is "quite candid about his relationship" with White in the book, as he "talks about White's selfishness, and favoritism toward some fighters." Penn writes about how "there would always be the one guy UFC owners, the FERTITTAS ... and White would give a lot of money to." They had their "favorite fighters, like PEDRO RIZZO and later CHUCK LIDDELL, who received much larger purses." However, Richardson noted the book "is not just about Penn's fights with the UFC, inside and outside the ring." Richardson: "It's a look at his life story and dedication to mixed martial arts. ... I strongly urge anyone that enjoys MMA and competitive sports to read this book" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 4/22).

KINGS OF THE TRACK: In South Carolina, Gregory Hardy noted former SMI President & CEO HUMPY WHEELER has written a new book entitled, "GROWING UP NASCAR: RACING'S MOST OUTRAGEOUS PROMOTER TELLS ALL." Wheeler said there was a "tremendous amount that didn't get in the book." Wheeler: "Actually, it was about 298 pages when we got through. So obviously they cut a lot out. And that's good now, because we're thinking of a sequel if this keeps going like it is." Wheeler added one of the things that has amazed him "is the amount of women that are buying" the book (Columbia STATE, 4/18)....In Daytona Beach, Godwin Kelly wrote there is an "abundance of praise for the France family" in H.A. BRANHAM's book, "BILL FRANCE JR.: THE MAN WHO MADE NASCAR." But the biography is "surprisingly candid, especially when Branham details France's struggle to stay alive the last 10 years of his life" in the wake of suffering a heart attack in '97 (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 4/15).

MORE NEW RELEASES: In N.Y., gossip columnist Cindy Adams writes "GEORGE STEINBRENNER: THE LAST LION OF BASEBALL" is an unauthorized biography of the Yankees Owner written by N.Y. Daily News columnist BILL MADDEN. The release "starts with his early days in Cleveland," and "pokes into his politics, like the few pages on his being a NIXON fund-raiser," before getting to his time with the Yankees. Madden cites "'hundreds of sources,' including personal interviews with anyone who had a love/hate relationship" with Steinbrenner, including "locker-room types, fired bat boys [and] front office personnel" (N.Y. POST, 4/23)....FANHOUSE.com's JJ Cooper wrote if there "isn't a whole lot about the Super Bowl that you don't already know," then Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Packers beat writer BOB MCGINN's "ULTIMATE SUPER BOWL BOOK" is "the book for you." The book "tries to teach you things you don't know about the Super Bowl" because McGinn "talks to the people who don't normally get interviewed about the Super Bowl" (FANHOUSE.com, 4/19)....U.S. figure skater JOHNNY WEIR will release a book that is a "collection of wildly entertaining anecdotes and essays." The untitled book is scheduled to come out in January '11 (AP, 4/19).

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